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Carbondale poet Wade Newsom on his transition from sports to writing

Sep 30, 2016

Wade Newsom performing.
Credit Courtesy Photo

Wade Newsom grew up in Oklahoma. He was a fan of the Def Poetry Jam specials on HBO. He loved hip-hop. The Beastie Boys. Run DMC. He started to write like the musicians he listened to. But through high school, he kind of lost that passion. In college, he played basketball. It was there that he sort of rediscovered writing. He needed a way to express the stress he was feeling. After graduating, he moved to Colorado.

“I remember driving over Independence Pass for the first time and being in awe, and feeling that magic you feel when you drive into Aspen, or the Roaring Fork Valley in particular, and knew that’s where I wanted to stay,” Newsom said.


He worked at the St. Regis, and sold ads for Aspen Magazine. Eventually, he opened a coffee shop in Carbondale.


“Carbondale in particular is such a breeding ground for crazy talented people,” he said. “Artists, musicians, poets, professionals, chefs — there’s so much going on in Carbondale that I had no idea until I fully submerged myself in that community how creative and amazing it was.”


It was there that he finally was able to make writing a bigger part of his life. He started performing. He said it wasn’t about what people got out of his poems.


“It didn’t really matter if anyone took anything away from it because it did so much for me — just being in front of people and sharing something that can be a little scary to share,” Newsom said.


A year and a half ago, Carbondale lost its allure. It wasn’t a place that he felt like he could advance his career and life. So he and his wife started spending time in Southern California. He rents out his place in Carbondale currently, but is thankful for all of the time he spent here.